A Good Question

A reader writes:

Your reader uses the term "Chomsky-level rhetoric" specifically to duck the question. What nation besides the United States feels that a mere "alliance" requires the presence of 50 bases in country?

And I might say it is Ferguson-level rhetoric as well. My old friend - with whom I've had a few chats about empire over the years - gets frustrated because America has an empire and won't run it properly. My longtime counter-point is that America just can't be an empire in the old sense, because it simply isn't in America's DNA. And because the age of empire is over - and should be over.